Mr. Prime Minister,
The reason that I am writing this open letter to you is the illegal deportation of asylum seekers, Kosovo Serbs from Norway to Serbia. And that is where you and our Norwegian Government illegal action starts.
Norway recognized the Republic of Kosovo on 28 March 2008. Kosovo Serbs, coming from the territory that becomes, Kosovo Republic, pleaded political asylum from Norway . Their houses were burned and/or destroyed during or after NATO bombardment, which Norway, as a member of NATO was part of. After bombardment was finished, many of Kosovo Serb properties were taken away from them or were burned and destroyed to the stage that they could not be livable. They were persecuted because they were Serbs, although they lived there since the 6th century. As of today this life treating situation and without any civil liberties, did not change for many Kosovo Serbs at the Republic of Kosovo.
In spite of these facts, that are well known to our Government of Kingdom of Norway, you and your ministers decided to return Kosovo Serbs, but no to the country they came from, Republic of Kosovo, but to a “third country”, in this case Republic of Serbia. This is against the UN Charter V (five); article 32, that was signed by Norway in 1951 . According to Article 32 of a said UN Charter, if Government of Kingdom of Norway decides to expel refugees, said government shall allow such a refugee a reasonable period within which to seek legal admission into another country. Our Government decided to come with the police force at 3 o’clock in the morning to take away woman, man and children from their beds giving them two hours to pack and through them in to the plain that deported them, without any choice required by UN Charter V.
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Representative of government of Kingdom of Norway that appeared on TV, called this operation “highly human”. I am aware that your explanation for this brutal action is a signed contract or memorandum between Kingdom of Norway and Republic of Serbia about readmission of the refugees between two countries. I am sorry to inform you that this document cannot be used in the case of Kosovo Serbs. They came from the Republic of Kosovo, not from the Republic of Serbia. Republic of Serbia is admitting these refugees back, because by Serbian constitution law they are still citizens of Serbia and Kosovo is still integrated part of Serbia. Government of Kingdom of Norway cannot at one point recognize the Republic of Kosovo as independent country and in the case of Kosovo Serbians as a part of Serbia.
You have to decide do you recognize Republic of Kosovo or not, and act accordingly. In the case of expelled Kosovo Serbians, you and your ministers cannot act opportunistically, because, in this case it is against UN Charter V, that Kingdom of Norway, as highly civilized country signed and ha s to live to its rules. But there is more to it. Question arises why are only Kosovo Serbs expelled out of the Kingdom of Norway? There are no reports about return of Kosovo Albanians or Bosnians’ to their countries. The war and dangers are ended for them. Kosovo Albanians got their independent state and so did Bosnians. Article three of UN Charter five clearly speaks that there should not be any discrimination between refugees . Make no mistake, Mr. Prime minister, I do not wish for Kosovo Albanians or Bosnians to be returned to their respectful countries. If they succeeded to escape their countries, they deserve better life and they should fully integrate themselves in our, Norwegian society, and work hard and bring up their children in prosperous society.
I believe that government of Kingdom of Norway, the same government that always promotes itself as the most social democratic and transparent in its politics, this time made mistake and has to go back and fix it. You and your ministers should admit the mistake that you made towards deportation of Kosovo Serbs, in the name of us, citizens of Kingdom of Norway, tax payers that are providing with our money for your salaries. The reason that I am being so harsh on you, Mr. Prime minister is my neighbor that I meet when I walk my dog. She approached me the other day and asked me about deported Kosovo Serbians: where are they, where did they return and she was wondering how they feel after they were so brutally thrown out of our country. I told her that they were returned not to the country they are coming from, but to the country where they do not have their properties, friends or relatives, country that is very poor and economically destroyed, partly because of the NATO bombardment in which we, Kingdom of Norway, participated. She was very upset and then she told me that these people must now hate us, Norwegians, a lot.
So, Mr. Prime Minister, this open letter that I am addressing to you is really about Norway and Norwegians, not about Kosovo Serbs. It is about our conscience as a nation and about our moral. We Norwegians showed our real human values during the WWII, when we saved imprisoned Serbs from Nazi and Quisling concentration camps. This was one of the historical highlights of our morality and gentleness. Today, when our Norwegian government is arresting people at early morning with the police force, Norwegian people are again showing the same moral values. During the action of arrestment around thirty people, mainly children escaped. And who is hiding and protecting them? Norwegians, again, in spite of the actions of Norwegian government. Norwegian moral and richness is way above the standards of the Government that you are leading, and I am happy and proud to be part of this country. I am proud because of the people, but not the Government.
I strongly believe that you have a chance to save yourself and your ministers’ face, and confess the mistake and find the way to help illegally expelled Kosovo Serbs. That would be the way that we Norwegians could be proud of our Government. It is your move!
Expecting your respectful respond, yours sincerely,
Dejan Karaklajic, Norwegian citizen, film and TV director/producer
Endnote: ARTICLE 1 of UN CHAPTER V Definition of the Term ” Refugee (2) As a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951 and owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it. ARTICLE 32 of UN CHAPTER V 2. The expulsion of such a refugee shall be only in pursuance of a decision reached in accordance with due process of law. Except where compelling reasons of national security otherwise require, the refugee shall be allowed to submit evidence to clear himself, and to appeal to and be represented for the purpose before competent authority or a person or persons specially designated by the competent authority. 3. The Contracting States shall allow such a refugee a reasonable period within which to seek legal admission into another country. The Contracting States reserve the right to apply during that period such internal measures as they may deem necessary. ARTICLE 3 of UN CHAPTER V Non-discrimination The Contracting States shall apply the provisions of this Convention to refugees without discrimination as to race, religion or country of origin.